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WASHINGTON — Approximately 13% of smokers do not disclose their tobacco habit to their healthcare provider, according to a survey released Friday by Legacy.
And while a majority of smokers did admit their smoking status, only some 25% sought help from their doctors or healthcare providers during their last quit attempt.
"Healthcare providers play a critical role in reaching smokers with appropriate messages and resources for quitting, especially now that insurance coverage has expanded to include some smoking-cessation treatments," stated Cheryl Healton, Legacy president and CEO. "It becomes a missed public health opportunity if what amounts to more than 6 million smokers in the United States [who] do not talk to doctors and nurses about smoking and quitting."
To address the void between doctors and all smokers, Legacy has developed a guide for healthcare providers with strategies on how to conduct more meaningful and effective conversations with their patients about smoking and quitting. For a copy of the guide, click here. (And for a Spanish-language guide, click here.)
The survey included 3,146 adult participants in the United States, both smokers and former smokers.
Legacy is the national, independent public health foundation that was created in 1999 out of the landmark Master Settlement Agreement between the tobacco industry, 46 state governments and five U.S. territories.